Friday, July 24, 2015

Simplicity...

While looking for a support spindle that is good for spinning short fibers such as cotton and cashmere I ran across this photo on Pinterest that stopped me in my tracks.


Although this woman lives simply and has no fancy tools to work with she is making beautiful yarn.  Made me think about how much junk I have been convinced I need to make beautiful fiber and how much money has been wasted!  When really all one needs is the basics...

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Some planning for the upcoming fall and - eeek, winter dare I say

I know it is only the middle of July but after all it is already the middle of July!  The summer seems to be cruising by as fast as "NASA's New Horizons" is moving!  Let's face it it is going to be fall sooner than I suspect most of us would like... well, that is of course except for all my blogging sisters in the southern hemisphere where it is all upside down from us up here in the north.

So, of course continued education for tapestry weaving will be at the top of my list.  But there are a lot of other wonderful things to keep busy with once the colder weather arrives here in New England. I really want to learn how to knit socks and mittens.  In this drafty old converted barn one can never have too many pairs of fluffy woolly socks... sometimes it is so cold I confess to wearing two pairs of socks at a time!  I kid you not! :D  Mittens, well they sort of speak for themselves.  An absolute must have for snowball fights and snowman building.  Hmm, shouldn't that be snowwoman building?!

And we can't forget putting the garden to bed before the snows arrive.  I am thinking about building a scarecrow lady for the garden and I might put her out late this summer or early fall and leave her there to give the garden a little personality over the wintering months.  Although if we get the snow we have gotten the past two winters she will get buried for the most part so perhaps upon further review I will wait until next spring for that project! LOL!

There is also the pre-planning of the raised garden beds. Well, that sounds like enough to keep me busy over the snowy months.  Now for some photos of inspiration for that sock knitting plan...



I really love both the pattern and the chunky look of these socks.  
I'm sure they would keep one's toes nice and toasty!


Since I don't wear shoes in the house the cables won't pose any discomfort issues.  Even if I do venture out into the cold my boots are extra large to accommodate heavy winter socks.


These I would need to make a few pair of as I just love that slouchy sock look and feel!


Aren't those heels just the bee's knees?!  I love the color combination as well.  
Nice and bright for a grey winter's day!


A nice simple fluffy sock!  Make several pair of these as well!  Now to just find the pattern!


And last but not least a pretty, lacy sock.  Hmm, this one is on Etsy, wonder if she sells the pattern?
Well, now that I have sent shivers up everyone's spine with all this talk about fall and winter.... giggle!!!  But seriously, best time of the year to start making socks.  Wait until fall and winter and it's really like closing the barn door once the horses are out!!! :D

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Musing on six decades

This new journey of mine into my sixth decade continues to surprise me.  In my earlier years I was a bit of a book snob.  I wouldn't read anything fiction rather it had to be mostly science or sometimes science fiction where at least the familiar linearity of scientific thought threaded its way through the words comprising the story.  Times change of course and now scientific thought is anything but linear with the tree of evolutionary outline all the way over to chaos and the order buried within the tornado of instability we view in life.

In my defense I was once what is coined, a professional student.  I was late to college at the ripe old age of 23.  However, once I began it became a voracious devouring of knowledge sweeping me along on the ribbon of a quest to learn just for the sake of the possibility of understanding perhaps just a thimble full of what comprises life.  Our life, others lives, our being, our dyeing, our existence, our thoughts, our desires.  That journey lasted until 2005 when I finished my last Master's degree and surrendered the reins of the academic quest to those much younger than I!

However, I have digressed.  In this new to me sixth decade of my life I am seeing so many changes in personality and interests so unique to my attention that sometimes I must look in the mirror to make sure the same-ish face is looking back at me.  It is of course.

I am thoroughly, perhaps for the first time in my life since my early college days when I was immersed in human evolutionary studies - finding a joy in the things I am undertaking.  Tapestry weaving, spinning fiber from the wonderfully soft and possibly the best renewable resource on the planet today...fiber from sheep, goats, llama, alpaca and even the exotic breeds such as quiviot! And this brings me to the subject of reading.

For the longest time I have not been much of a reader.  Once I finally closed the chapter on perpetual higher education I was left with a void.  No longer did the same subjects interest me.  No one of course was more surprised than myself.  This summer is marking new interests across the board and reading has not escaped that transition.  I am finding joy in light summer reading!  Novels, fiction, even some steamy girly novels have snuck in under the radar with no complaints from me!  Who knew? Perhaps this is simply me  weaving a new tapestry of life ?!

Okay, enough babbling on.  How about some of the plants I just ordered for next spring and summer's garden.  As these arrive this fall for planting so they are ready to bloom next spring/summer I thought you might enjoy seeing some pretty pictures of garden dreams to come...

Alpine rosy bells for the rocky part of the garden

Green Cheeked Silver Bells, also for the rocky part of the garden

A nice mixed bag of hostas for the shady part of the front garden

A flowering dogwood tree that will go in the front also probably right in front of the shade bed

And a lovely peachy pink Asiatic Lily... don't you just love that color?!

Okay, and just a few more that I couldn't resist that were on sale for fall shipping...

Blue Melody Camassia
I really liked the foliage as well suspecting it would keep a nice show of some greenery
long after the pretty purple blooms fade.  What do you think?

Festiva Maxima Peony
  I just love Peonies so the garden is going to feature several.  I must remember however, they don't like being planted too deep lest they don't flower!  That same can be said for hydrangea.  My blue hydrangea have not bloomed for two years now.  Well, in defense of this year it was moved so that I am sure stunted it's flowering.  Have to wait until next spring/summer to see if I got it right this time!

Sorbet Peony
I seem to be on a pink thing for next spring don't I.  Well, this will go well with my strawberry/vanilla hydrangea that by the way is coming back. I thought for sure it was a goner after we moved it this spring but it's being a little trooper and it has in the last few weeks put forth quite a bit of new foliage!  Hopeful for next spring/summer !

Top Brass Peony
This peony I can't wait to see.  The contrast of the beautiful yellow center against the white background should be spectacular!  Okay, that's it for now.  Next spring will come the white picket fencing and the arbor, perhaps two arbors... we'll have to wait and see!  Of course too the raised beds will be planted full of veggies and fruits.  Hopefully, enough to put up some in my canning cupboard for the winter blahs! :D

Friday, July 10, 2015

Five on Friday

Hi everyone!  Sorry I missed posting last week in our little Five on Friday meme.  This week has been filled with plain old summery activities.  Reading, weaving, napping, napping and more napping.  I'm afraid very little gardening and I really need to get out there and finish up my projects for this year before I turn around and it's "gasp" winter again!

Anyway, I'm here and ready to go for this week's Five on Friday.  If you are not familiar with this little group please pop over to it's fabulous creator, Amy at Love Made My Home and check out all the fun.  It really doesn't take a lot of effort to participate, unless of course you want it to !  It's a fabulous group of people who will keep you thoroughly entertained with lots and lots of eye candy!

So here goes for my week:
This week has been filled with classes on learning to weave tapestry and a lot of summery light reading.  A little house organization, dead heading the rose bushes and still trying to figure out what to do with the remaining front portion of the garden that I have been working on since late May.

First for this week is my beginning work on my first tapestry weaving... I found a class on Creative Bug for some beginning techniques and from that I have been able to stop talking so much about weaving as actually doing it!  No one is more surprised than me, lol!  I do seem to lean heavily on dreaming and organizing rather than doing.  Perhaps it has something to do with all the years I had no time or money to do the things I wanted and got stuck in a habit of dreaming of the future.  Now as I have crossed one of those BIG age boundaries  I realize each and every day is precious and that one should try to accomplish something of note, even if just to one's self.



Second I wanted to share a resource I ran across on Pinterest... yes, yes, I know I am totally addicted to the place!  So much to see and dream about doing and so little time! :D  Anyway, I don't know if you all have heard of Book Bub or not but it is a great little resource for discounted books on Kindle, Nook and more. Of course one needs to have a Kindle, Nook or more but I am taking the leap in thinking that many do have one of such devices. So, Book Bub offers a range of temporarily FREE books or nicely discounted books for a certain period of time.  To sign up is free and then you will get an email every day to tell you of new offers. You can also go straight to their website and peruse their categories.  Keep in mind that there are lots of books and many in the category of what I call trashy girly novels but there are some gems in there as well for those willing to spend a little time looking.  I've lost track of how many new summer books I have downloaded already, most were free.



Third, a new project on my crochet hook, well sort of.  I wanted of all things, to start a new crochet throw... like I don't already have enough WIP's but can't let that stop me, lol!  Anywho, I started this said project a couple of days ago but the pattern kept making me make mistakes... one does need to keep the blame where it belongs after all :D! Okay, yes I cropped out where the huge mistake is and the square still has two more framing rows to go but you get the idea from the photo.  Unfortunately the pattern was in I believe Polish but there is a diagram.  If you are interested in this pattern I do have a link to it in my Pinterest category "Crochet" So, I put the project down and started my first weaving (see no.1 above) :D



Fourth, a little peek to see what is blooming in my garden at the moment.








Fifth, eeek, what is my fifth thing...?  Okay, just for the fun of it, I just ordered a large bump of prepared wool top 8 pounds to be exact!  Those of you who are spinners will know what I'm talking about... for others I will show the photo and then explain... Oh and I just received my newest support spindle.  She spins like crazy and has quickly become my current favorite in my spindle collection (Shhhhh, don't let the other spindles hear...!)

 For those of you non-spinners, prepared wool top is wool that has been washed, combed and put into long thin strips for spinning.  You can see the thickness of the strips that are wrapped in this large bundle.  You pull off a piece as long as you are comfortable holding while spinning and slowly feed it onto your spinning wheel.  I found this great shop called Wool Dryer Balls on Etsy where the fiber is good quality and coming direct from a mill the price is really affordable to purchase larger amounts of fiber.  It's great because all the really hard work has been done for you.  All you have to do is dye it, or not, and spin it into yarn, ply it and knit, crochet or weave or skip all of those steps and felt to your hearts content.


My newest support spindle from the Etsy shop called Silly Salmon Designs. I just love her spindles!

Well all, thanks for popping by and enjoy the upcoming weekend!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Five on Friday

Hi everyone, I hope you all have had an enjoyable and creative summer week!  Today's post for Amy's Five on Friday is all about projects I would love to learn how to make (thank you Pinterest)! If you are not familiar with Five on Friday hop on over to Amy's blog Love Made My Home to check it out and even better play along!

So, without further ado...

A handwoven piece of serenity!  Don't you just love those colors?!


Handwoven tapestry with some unique texture...


Weaving tapestries in the round...


Creating cute objects out of papier mache and paper clay... Isn't this sheep just the cutest?!

And, last but not least... how to make my own purses. Okay, I probably wouldn't have that big "3" on it, probably more like a "B" or some such but isn't this bag rather cool?!

Short and sweet this week so you can get on to visit the other blogs! :D